Gujarat Minister of State for Home Rajnikant Patel told the assembly the government had proposed to meet Hardik Patel for talks Saturday but he wrote back the following day turning down the proposal.
The day of the rally, the minister said, “the collector went to the ground but they did not give him the memorandum there”. “Hardik then went to the collector’s office and returned to GMDC ground to resume his indefinite fast. Then there was violence on the ground.”
Hardik Thursday demanded Rs 35 lakh as compensation for the death of eight Patidars. The minister did not touch upon compensation while making a statement on the violence and the steps taken.
The minister said PAAS members met government officials Monday and the following day “it was ensured that the event passed off peacefully”. Following the violence Wednesday, the CM aired her appeal on television and the same day the Centre sent 42 CRPF companies while the state government asked for the Army to be called in, which was granted. “The government also shut down mobile Internet services to prevent rumours,” Patel said. His statement ended with, “No untoward incident had occurred anywhere in the state today.”
The statement came on a point of order on a day the entire Congress was suspended. Leader of the Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela had proposed a resolution to condole the deaths and sought to compare the situation to the 2002 riots. He suggested the House be adjourned for two days to allow the MLAs to go to their constituencies. Speaker Vasava rejected the demand saying the situation then and now cannot compare. Amid the din, the Speaker ordered suspension of Congress MLAs.